Our next section looks at the concept of the Great Apostasy. According to Mormons, soon after the death of Jesus, the church fell into a great apostasy. Reformers such as Luther and Calvin knew there was something wrong but without proper understanding, they were unable to restore the Gospel.
Now, Christians would agree that throughout the history of the church there has been a fight to retain the truth. Heresies such Gnosticism and Arianism and others attempted to take over the church. However, we believe that throughout the history of the church, God has raised up men and women who returned us to the message of Scripture and there there has always been a Gospel voice available.
This is different from what Mormons believe. While including theological error, it is not primarily theology that was lost. It was the priesthood authority that Jesus and the apostles established, the authority that allowed ongoing revelation to guide the church. There are two problems with this. First, there is no biblical evidence that Jesus or the apostles established a priesthood or that they expected ongoing authoritative revelation beyond the time of the apostles. Secondly, it seems a little strange that God would allow the church to be in complete error from soon after the death of Jesus until the mid-1800’s. If the church is so important, why would God wait almost two millennia to correct the church? The Mormon concept of the Great Apostasy is not very convincing to me.